Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Category of my Own

I've decided that you can basically divide people into three categories.

1. Those who know better than to start. These are the people who tend to have a filter on their thoughts. They ask for help. They fully understand their limitations.

2. Those who begin, come to a point where they realize things have gone awry, and stop. These are the people who are slightly impulsive but have some amount of self-control. They are able to distinguish between what can be called a mistake and total disaster. They are humble enough to ask for help when they are in a pickle.

And then there is that third type...

3. Those who start something, realize they are over their head and just keep on going. These are the people that pride holds captive. They are too proud, or too embarrassed, or too self-reliant to ask for help. They are impulsive and then stubborn enough to try to get themselves out of the mess they have made.

I am a card carrying member of the third group. Case and point....the other day I asked my husband to use his handy man skills to cut off some odd and dating wood scallops off of our dresser so that I could re-paint it. (I'm all about making the old new.) He forgot or was too busy. The next morning I woke up determined to not have my paining schedule set back. I then went down into our basement and hauled up some power saw thingy. Now, you have to understand that while I am creative, I am not handy. I have never used power tools. Obviously, this puts me out of the running for being in group 1.

I plug in the saw, set my toddler down for a session with Elmo, and go to town on the dresser. When all the little do-dads were cut off I stood back to assess my work. While I succeeded in cutting of the do-dads, I have also managed to gouge and cut the good wood. Here's where I hit another crossroad. I could stop and I should stop but I don't. I enter into my home, the third category.

I decide that I can still fix it all before my husband, the true handy person of the household, gets home and sees what I have done. I decide that it's time to just cut off the whole decorative backboard. I end up spending at least 3 hours applying and shaping putty to fill in the gouges, demanding answers from myself during the dry time, sanding, and then reapplying.

During the time needed for the putty to dry I ask myself, "Why didn't I just wait?!" "What in the world was I thinking?" and "Wait until your husband gets home!" That's when I sit back and see the irony in it. In all reality it's not far off from the things I say to my kids and the whold dresser ordeal is an adult version of what my kids do.

How can I expect them to be in category 1 or 2 when I haven't even arrived there? They are, to some extent, mini-me's. They are impulsive and stubborn and so am I. I like to joke and say, "they get that from my husband" or "that must have skipped a generation because they didn't get it from me". We are all flawed humans. My mistakes generally don't involve permanent marker, running around with sharp objects, or painting the living room carpet, but really they are just the adult versions.

I want my children to belong in category 1 or 2. I want to model wisdom. I want to teach them self-control, humility, and how to make careful judgements. Most of all, I want to give a little more grace out when I see them behaving like me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Streching the Schedule

I'm not as flexible as I thought I was. Keep in mind that I'm strictly referring to mental flexibility. I'm fully aware at the end of every session with Jillian that while I feel "shredded" I can still only reach my ankles...Okay, mid-calf.

My kids are gifted and talented when it comes to finding the least unopportune time to become sick. They seize the opportunity and lick some piece of public property, ingesting all sorts of bio-hazards, bacteria, and such. Just as the virus builds in strength my schedule bends and stretches until it finally breaks and I'm left there mourning over the pieces. I need to learn to hold onto my plans much more loosely. I need to become less hurried.

It's the days when I am stranded at home with a child who is snotty nosed and running a fever, that I find the schedule taking a back seat to snuggling, cuddling, and rocking. Of course, it does help to have a child who is sickly and actually willing to idle their internal motor.

When I am too hurried I don't notice the length of my daughter's eye lashes or the new pitch of her giggle. I miss out on my son's tall tales and his developing sense of humor.

I was reminded recently that every time I say "yes" to one opportunity I say "no" to a hundred others. I'm taking the time to slow down. I'm putting the schedule in it's place. I'm giving my family my first fruits rather than my leftovers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Moment of Sanity

How is it that when you become a mom things that seemed irrational and cray become a part of your everyday life. For example, I am willing to do nearly anything in order to keep my kids entertained during the most mundane tasks. I have been known to break out into song while at our local grocery store. I have actually sang the full sound track to the movie, Potty Power. More shocking, I would do it all over again just to get a full cart of groceries and a smile from my audience. Yesterday, I sat for a highlight while playing humpty dumpty for nearly a full half hour. I'm sure my hair stylist was thrilled. Even now, my daughter is pulling my hoodie down over my eyes while demanding, "Do that button!" and yet this is life folks. This is as good and as bad as it gets. It's not's motherhood!